I’m coming up for air after some deadlines that couldn’t be delayed anymore, so I finally got around to watching the Mitt-Bain movie today. It is disgusting — something you’d expect from Michael Moore or Occupy Wall Street. It plays on every juvenile prejudice in the book (Romney heckled, hands counting wads of cash, Romney speaking French, Romney statements out of context repeated again and again) It is wildly inaccurate even in what little it tells us about Bain (two of the four companies were not under Romney’s direction when the job losses occurred). Moreover, we learn very little even about the four companies profiled (like whether they would have survived had Bain not intervened) — all we hear is that, because of Mitt Romney personally, parents had to raid the college funds and skip meals so their children could eat. I’m surprised there wasn’t a Romney look-alike pushing a wheelchaired granny off the cliff — maybe she could even have landed on the Paul Ryan wheelchaired granny.
I realize that Romney started the attack ads and ran a lot of them. This is not a paean to Mitt, whom I like but about whom I have concerns — especially in an election in which Obamacare is so central to our case. But I’ve given a very hard time to people around here when I thought they were being unfair to Newt and Rick Perry. I don’t think I was wrong to do that, because I still think it was unfair. But I have to confess to feeling pretty embarrassed right now.
This film is shameful, and to recommend it or draw arguments out of it is shameful. I’m not saying the film ought to be banned — politics, as someone recently recalled, ain’t beanbag. This is exactly the sort of thing the Obama folk will be doing, so we might as well find out if Mitt can take a punch — and I sure wish someone in Romneyland were reading Kevin or Avik, who’ve made great responsive cases while the campaign has been flatfooted. But for me, for what little it may be worth, the movie is much less a discredit to Mitt Romney than to people who are sullying themselves by promoting it and drawing “vulture” narratives out of it.